Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

HRH Crown Prince launches Soudah Peaks’ masterplan

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Prime Minister, and Chairman of Soudah Development has launched the masterplan to develop Soudah and parts of Rijal Almaa into Soudah Peaks – a luxury mountain tourism destination set 3,015 meters above sea level on Saudi Arabia’s highest peak, contributing more than SAR 29 billion to the Kingdom’s cumulative GDP, and creating thousands of direct and indirect job opportunities. It is strategically aligned with Vision 2030 goals of expanding tourism and entertainment, supporting economic growth and attracting investments. Situated within an extraordinary natural and cultural environment in the Aseer region (southwest Saudi Arabia), the project is a key part of the Public Investment Fund (PIF)’s efforts to diversify the economy by expanding vital industries such as tourism, hospitality, and entertainment, and supporting Aseer development strategy. HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Chairman of Soudah Development’s Board of Directors, stated that Soudah Peaks represents a new era of luxury mountain tourism by providing an unprecedented living experience while preserving the natural environment, cultural, and heritage richness.

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DCT Abu Dhabi signs partnership with Mubadala Foundation initiating AED 50 million cultural industry investment

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and Mubadala Foundation signed a partnership agreement, where the latter will contribute AED 50 million to the emirate’s cultural industry over the next five years in a first-of-its-kind agreement. The partnership marks a significant step forward in their shared mission to transform and elevate the emirate’s vast cultural landscape, with Mubadala Foundation also being appointed as an ‘Education & Community Partner’ of DCT Abu Dhabi’s across the culture sector, including the Saadiyat Cultural District and other similar sites. The close cooperation between DCT Abu Dhabi and Mubadala Foundation presents an important commitment to fostering cultural programmes and initiatives, including projects with the renowned Louvre Abu Dhabi and the highly anticipated Zayed National Museum. His Excellency Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “At DCT Abu Dhabi, we have cultivated compelling partnerships that are central to community development and fuel economic progress that aid Abu Dhabi’s wider global ambitions. Our commitment to this is reinforced by the signing of this partnership with Mubadala Foundation, underscoring our promise to transform the emirate into a global centre for culture and creativity. Through this stakeholder collaboration, we are poised to deliver unparalleled experiences to visitors from around the globe and enable the creation of a dynamic cultural ecosystem that invites exploration and engagement.”  

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The Israel Ministry of Tourism launches reward program for the Israel Destination Specialists from the UAE

The Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT) has launched a global initiative to train and support professionals from the travel industry, enabling them to become “Israeli Specialists” through a self-learning module program in collaboration with Travel Agent Academy. The e-learning program consists of five interactive and engaging sessions, each followed by a quiz. Its goal is to make Israel as the preferred Mediterranean destination among travel professionals. The introductory module provides a comprehensive overview of the main sights, cities, hotels, and distinctive experiences in the country, along with captivating information about its multicultural population. The four advance modules are designed to empower learners to fully grasp the destination’s experiences and offerings: Christian Travel through Israel – General and Faith-Based Multigenerational and Heritage Travel in Israel Food, Wine, and Culture Outdoor Adventure in Israel’s- Diverse Landscapes Travel industry professionals from the United Arab Emirates can register for the Israel Destination Specialist e-learning portal free of charge and commence their educational journey. A onetime self-registration is required on the Israel Destination Specialist portal, which can be completed promptly to accommodate work and learning schedules. The first 40 learners who successfully complete the modules and submit the electronic certificate from the portal to tourism@vfsglobal.com before September 30,2023, will receive incentive vouchers as a token of appreciation from the Israel Ministry of Tourism. Qualified learners will be notified via email by October 10, 2023. Her Excellency Ms. Liron Zaslansky – Consul General of the State of Israel in Dubai emphasized the significance of strengthening ties between Israel and the UAE through tourism stakeholders. “The Israel Destination Specialist serves as a platform for UAE travel professionals to explore and showcase Israel’s diverse tourism offerings, ultimately inspiring …

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DCT Abu Dhabi kicks off Abu Dhabi travel and tourism week

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi kicked off Abu Dhabi Travel & Tourism Week (25-30 September), a platform which brings together the emirate’s travel and tourism industry to foster growth and reinforce Abu Dhabi’s status as a global tourism hub. The initiative aligns with the emirate’s broader vision to welcome over 24 million visitors this year and further enhance the business and leisure tourism industries, driving economic impact to the UAE capital and beyond. The week starts with the first City Tourism Briefing event and supports the roll-out of Abu Dhabi Business Events Forum, Abu Dhabi Wedding Show and the Future Hospitality Summit, leveraging the collective power of many tourism stakeholders from diverse industries all contributing their expertise and insights to drive progress. HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said: “The Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 drives our ambitions to build a strong foundation of strategic partnerships that facilitate the establishment of the emirate as a thriving global hub for business, investment, and leisure travel.  The Abu Dhabi Travel & Tourism Week is set to unlock new opportunities that reaffirm our commitment to positioning Abu Dhabi as a dynamic and sustainable hub for tourism.  We look forward to fostering growth in the sector by accelerating high-potential industries such as gastronomy, aviation, and business events and welcome all of our partners and future collaborators to join us in our journey.” Abu Dhabi Travel & Tourism Week will advance the emirate’s tourism industry across a range of sectors, such as Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) events, hospitality, destination marketing, weddings, tourism strategy, and more.

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‘Simply Feel Good’: Germany rebrands sustainability campaign to empower travellers to “Think Green”

GCC travellers can venture into a whole range of sustainable, wondrous places with eco-rich experiences available from Berlin to the Black Forest, Recknitz Valley to Lake Constance with the latest rebranding campaign by the German National Tourist Board (GNTB). They relaunched its highly successful ‘Feel Good’ initiative – but this time with a tweak aimed at underscoring Germany’s commitment to sustainable tourism. Now known as ‘Simply Feel Good’, the revamped campaign hopes to inspire a new era of conscious travel, invites travellers to explore a wealth of eco-friendly vacation experiences, and aims to focus on creativity, passion, and the environment. Sustainability is at the heart of Germany’s tourism offerings, and ‘Simply Feel Good’ is designed to empower travellers to make environmentally responsible choices throughout their journeys.

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Emirates joins hands with Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism and Association of South African Travel Agents to launch online training for travel industry professionals

Emirates, the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) and Association of South African Travel Agents (ASATA) have launched online training courses for new travel professionals to help them develop and build stronger skillsets, as well as enhance understanding around the industry’s key principles to support the wider travel and tourism sector. Using the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism’s already established Dubai College of Tourism (DCT) online platform, travel professionals in South Africa have free access to various online courses and training resources to help them develop the essential skills required to enter the industry or expand their abilities, improve their knowledge around industry systems and processes, ultimately helping them to maximise their career potential and employability. Courses start with the fundamentals: understanding the role of a travel agent, gaining familiarity with key industry terminology, understanding different procedures in relation to travel bookings, from the initial quotation stage through to the time of travel. Participants will explore the types of enquiries and proposals common within the industry, alongside developing the skills and knowledge required to prepare quotations, book supplier products and services and process travel related documentation. The rich, interactive content delivered in the courses contextually use Dubai as the primary market example when explaining the skills and terms associated with the travel industry value chain. Emirates’ products and services are also utilised to simulate and explain the airline retailing journey and the fundamentals of distribution systems for travel agents. In addition to acquiring valuable industry knowledge, professionals gain extensive insight into Dubai as a destination, already a popular city for South Africans, as well as Emirates products and services. Upon completion of the courses, participating travel professionals will …

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SAUDIA becomes first airline to operate to and from Red Sea International airport

Red Sea Global, The Red Sea and Amaala signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) and daa International, the operator of Red Sea International (RSI) airport, that will see SAUDIA become the first airline to operate in and out of the Red Sea International airport (RSI). RSI is on track to open this year along with the first three resorts at The Red Sea destination. Initially it will open for domestic flights to and from Riyadh and later Jeddah, before expanding to handle international flights from 2024. “In 2016, His Royal Highness, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, set out a vision for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A vision for a thriving country, one that was recognized as a global hub, where people from all around the world would come to experience the best of Saudi culture, hospitality and nature,” said John Pagano, Group CEO of Red Sea Global. “When the first commercial flight lands at Red Sea International, it won’t just be a point of personal pride for Red Sea Global. It will be a milestone moment for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in making that vision a reality. It is fitting, therefore, that the Kingdom’s flag carrier, SAUDIA, will be first to operate from our destination,” said John Pagano, Group CEO, Red Sea Global.” The agreement will see SAUDIA commence regular scheduled services to and from RSI. It also provides a framework for the three organizations to undertake joint research on the use of Lower Carbon Aviation Fuel (LCAF) and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) at Red Sea International Airport. The use of electric vertical take-off and landing jets (eVTOL) to reduce emissions from air travel to …

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Qatar Tourism selects Qatari Olympic champion Mutaz Barshim as brand ambassador

Qatar Tourism  announced that Olympic and world champion Mutaz Barshim has been named its new brand ambassador, with Barshim, the only high jumper to recently set a record of five medals at the World Championships, being the new face of Qatar Tourism’s promotional campaigns between now and September 2024. Commenting on the announcement, Sheikha Hessa Al Thani, Head of Marketing and Planning at Qatar Tourism, said: “At its core, the tremendous sporting achievements of our global champion Mutaz Barshim reflect Qatar’s ambitions on the world stage. A name that has become synonymous with victory, dedication to work and the constant pursuit of more glory, this partnership stems from our shared values and commitment to excellence. We are extremely proud to have Barshim as one of Qatar Tourism’s brand ambassadors and to be a true embodiment of Qatar’s limitless capabilities.” Olympic and world champion, Mutaz Barshim, said: “I am very honoured and proud to be a brand ambassador for Qatar Tourism. My country has supported me since the beginning of my career, and this is an opportunity to express my deep gratitude and give it back some favor. This partnership reflects a kind of complementarity between my ambitions and Qatar Tourism’s goals, which promote the rich cultural heritage of our beloved country and highlight leading global events. I am very excited to take on this responsibility and represent my country and very excited to introduce the world to Qatar’s attractions and destinations.” Following the successful conclusion of the ‘Summer in Qatar’ season, which was packed with events and entertainment, which also saw the launch of the Qatar Games Festival, the first of its kind in the country, as well as the …

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ADNEC Group launches charter flight service to support Abu Dhabi’s tourism and hospitality sectors 

ADNEC  Group, through its tourism arm Tourism 365, has launched new charter flight services in the UAE, enhancing travel options for international tourists from multiple destinations while propelling the UAE’s hospitality offering and reputation as a premier global destination. This premium new service, available from Europe and central Asia, is poised to increase visitor arrivals to the UAE, while further solidifying ADNEC Group’s position as a key player in the regional tourism sector. The new charter service complements the group’s wider hospitality offering, supporting the travel industry’s role in the nation’s economic growth, a sector expected to represent nearly 10 per cent of the UAE’s total economy in 2023. Charter flights have been launched by Tourism 365 in August from high demand and non-commercially operated international markets. Hundreds of thousands of travellers are expected to experience Tourism 365’s new service this year alone. Emerging source markets boosting arrivals into Abu Dhabi include Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Tajikistan through its tour operator, Easy Booking, in Central Asia. This October, the German market will also benefit from the launch of weekly charter operations to Abu Dhabi from airports including Leipzig, Nuremberg and Cologne through its own tour operator, Capital Holidays. The charter flights will complement the existing direct commercial flight network. Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Group CEO of ADNEC Group, said: “Our strategic ongoing goal is to boost the UAE tourism sector’s contribution to national economic growth through enhancing the offering and capabilities of the sector. Tourism 365’s ongoing growth and service diversification has the power to further increase tourist arrivals and diversify the source markets, increasing the international footprint of travellers visiting the UAE. ADNEC Group …

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Ajman Tourism signs a memorandum of understanding with Ajman DED to increase cooperation and enhance economic and tourism development in the emirate

The Ajman Department of Tourism Development – ADTD signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ajman Department of Economic Development (Ajman DED) which aims to establish a partnership between the two parties to increase cooperation, unite efforts and exchange knowledge and experiences at all levels. The memorandum of understanding was signed by His Excellency Mahmoud Khaleel Alhashmi, Director General of the Ajman Department of Tourism Development, and His Excellency Abdullah Ahmed Al Hamrani, Director General of the Ajman Department of Economic Development. As part of the agreement, a coordinating committee will be formed that aims to increase the economic and tourism growth rates in the emirate by uniting efforts and exchanging experience and knowledge to support tourism projects and events in line with the emirate’s vision 2030. The agreement aims to enhance the emirate’s position at the regional and global levels by improving its position in international competitiveness reports. The two parties also seek to enhance the economic and tourism competitiveness of the emirate through integration in planning, partnerships and joint projects. The memorandum also aims to support decision-makers by measuring strategic performance and raising customer satisfaction rates. The scope of collaboration between these two parties encompasses a range of activities, including synchronized efforts in economic and tourism marketing and promotion, the exchange of vital economic and tourism-related data and insights, and the undertaking of collaborative studies and research endeavors. This collaboration further encompasses the formulation and execution of joint policies and initiatives, as well as the continuous monitoring of international competitiveness benchmarks. A pivotal objective is also to enrich the experiences of investors and tourists alike by involving international corporations and orchestrating joint occasions and festivals. In this regard, …

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